Project Included

Substation Project — New Jersey

October 2019-May 2020

Riggs Distler was contracted by a host utility to demolish an existing 69/12kV electrical substation and perform all civil and electrical work for installation of a new upgraded substation. The new substation will improve the reliability of the electrical grid throughout New Jersey, delivering new opportunities for economic growth and enhanced service for the utility host’s priority customer.

Our work involved:

  •       Demolition of a 69/12kV substation above and below grade.
  •       Installation of a six-position, 69kV ring bus
  •       Installation of two 69/12kV 40MVA transformers
  •       Installation of two 12kV, five-bay bus structures
  •       Construction of a new control enclosure
  •       Construction and installation of site foundation, steel structures, grounding, and lighting protections.

Challenges Overcome

The client needed the project completed before the opening of the critical summer season, and Riggs Distler’s electrical substation and civil construction teams worked under a tight timeline to complete all necessary work and re-energize the substation on schedule. Due to the small site area and the compressed schedule, multiple subcontractors were working at the substation simultaneously, requiring careful project sequencing to complete all work safely and efficiently.

Riggs Distler dealt with a number of challenges over the course of the project, including coordination of off-site storage for materials, issues with steel fabrication for site components, and material procurement issues related to an incorrect order placed by the client. Our team moved swiftly to procure the correct materials from our own distributors, worked hand-in-hand with the steel manufacturer to correct problems and ensure proper guidance, and held daily on-site meetings between subcontractors to keep the project on schedule.


Perhaps most significantly, the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020 raised a number of complex worksite and employee safety concerns. Riggs Distler worked together with the client to make health and safety a top priority for everyone on-site, enforcing guidelines for “social distancing” when performing all work both outdoors and in the office.

Results Delivered

Relying on careful and thorough coordination between our management team, back office support, fleet services team, and the client, Riggs Distler was able to deliver the project on schedule with minimal impact to the host utility’s customers. By employing a mobile bypass to ensure ongoing electrical service, we were able to avoid outages and keep end users online throughout the life of the project. Ultimately, Riggs Distler’s management expertise and focus on safety were the keys to completing this complex project and delivering a more reliable electrical grid to the citizens and businesses of New Jersey.

Project Included